5. Baseball (positive test results: percent) : Olympic baseball is certainly not at the center of the sport, especially since it was discontinued as an Olympic event after the 2008 Games. Still, baseball yielded one of the highest percentages of positive test results in the years before it was eliminated. And steroid use in Major League Baseball was almost certainly worse than in the Olympics (the MLB did not even have steroid testing with penalties until 2004 ). The tests have been strengthened since then, and the situation appears to be improving relative to the dark days of the 1990s and early 2000s. Just as the sport seemed to be turning the corner, however, it came to light in June that the league was seeking to suspend about 20 players, including stars Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, for alleged involvement in a steroid ring.
NEW YORK—After the records of players who used performance-enhancing drugs are carefully removed, statistics provided by the Elias Sports Bureau indicate that lifetime .255 hitter Craig Counsell was the best player of the past 15 years. "If you judge them on the basis of pure physical ability, you're left with Craig Counsell," said ESB representative Patrick Wondolowski, adding that Counsell's 35 career home runs narrowly beat out Quinton McCracken's 21 and pitcher Glendon Rusch's three. Upon hearing the news, broadcaster Bob Uecker lauded the Brewers utilityman as "one of the best I ever saw, if we're talking about those who I can say without a doubt never took steroids. He came this close to stealing a base off of Ivan Rodriguez, and I swear I heard him foul tip a Roger Clemens fastball. The kid could flat-out steroid-free play. One time he was playing third base and he caught a Rafael Palmeiro line drive—just caught it, right in his mitt." When asked about his Hall of Fame chances, Counsell dodged the question by asking if anyone had a few bucks so he could go buy a sandwich.